What to do if someone dies

When someone dies, it is a stressful and confusing time. All of a sudden a number of decisions and arrangements have to be made within a very short period, including several legal requirements and responsibilities.

If the death occurs at hospital, the ward’s nursing staff will contact the next of kin and arrange a time for you to take away the deceased's possessions along with a Medical Certificate of Death. The body will be kept in the hospital mortuary until transport arrangements have been made by the funeral directors.

When someone dies at home, if the individual was suffering in health and under the directions of the local GP,first contact should be made with the family doctor, who after determining the cause of death will issue the Medical Certificate of Death and advise on what to do next. If the death is of a sudden nature and is confirmed as such my a GP or emergency service, the police will be called and prepare a file for the local coroner.

If someone dies abroad, you should first contact the local police who will connect you with the nearest British Consulate, and from there arrangements can be made for burial or repatriation. A local death certificate will be issued and all regional laws and procedures must be followed. If cause of death is sudden, unknown or suspicious, it will be referred to a coroner who will investigate the circumstances and cause of death, before issuing a certificate allowing the death to be registered.


Company Reg No: 07111737